A TREASURE trove of ‘postcards’ from the past is at the heart of a unique new exhibition.

Visitors to Kirkintilloch Town Hall over the next few weeks can take a stroll down memory lane in the company of two of the area’s most respected historians – Edward Z Smith and Don Martin.

Edward and Don – working with artist and curator Trevor Cromie – have provided an evocative glimpse into local history for Bits and Pieces, which runs until September 27.

It is the latest co-curated exhibition to be held at in the town hall’s dedicated heritage and arts facility, Made in Kirkintilloch.

The display gives a fascinating flavour of the two men’s extensive personal archives, stretching back over 50 years.

The images are presented as a series of ‘postcards’, with accompanying text – each written by the historians – revealing the place, time, location and offering insights into what was happening at the time.

Don’s include a collection of black and white images from 1963, including a shot of two young boys on their way to catch the bus.

“The summer of 1963 was the last in which the red and cream livery of Lawson’s of Kirkintilloch was used,” he recalls. “It was also the first summer that boys with towels under their arms could be seen heading for the newly -opened Kirkintilloch Swimming Baths.”

Later that year, another black and white image shows crowds of people at the Cross bus stop, near Kirkintilloch.

“The position of the stop has changed recently,” he says. “It has been many years since buses for Blanefield could be boarded at Kirkintilloch but in 1963 it was a popular summer destination, among the hills.”

His images of Kirkintilloch captured in time are fascinating. “The buildings seem much as today..but clothing and vehicles seem very old-fashioned,” he says. “The old canal swing-bridge, replaced soon afterwards, displays Lion Foundry lamp standards.”

Edward’s memories include the demolition of the Spider Bridge, which he describes as “a very, very sad day for our area that words cannot describe – so many memories of this iconic and historic structure.”

Constructed around 1887, it was a popular right of way between Waterside, Lenzie and Kirkintilloch until it was removed 100 years later.

Edward’s photo shows local boys standing amid the tangled mess of its remains, moments after it was demolished.

Another of Edward’s images captures happier times – a “bumper turnout for this year’s Easter Duck Race,” at Springwell Inn in Waterside in April 1991.

“Mums, dads, kids, grandparents and all brave the inclement weather,” says Edward, who photographed the crowds from the banks of the river.

“They were a bit disappointed thought that I did not slip and fall into the Luggie, with expensive cameras in my hands like I did the previous year…”

Edward also recalls the visit of then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to plastics factory McGavigan’s in September 1985, with a photograph of his father Willie.

“Shortly before the PM arrives, old Willie Smith appears after breaching the security cordon,” smiles Edward. “Willie was pushing a very suspicious-looking contraption with electrical wires dangling from it.

“I had to very quickly convince Maggie’s personal protection team not to shoot, as it was only my father off to burn the rubber from his scrap copper wire…”

Don and Edward have extensive knowledge and many memories of the local area – both men live work in East Dunbartonshire, and they have also spent many years researching, documenting and archiving passing eras through photography, film and writing.

Councillor Billy Hendry, Convener of Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets for East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “I am delighted to welcome this latest exhibition to Kirkintilloch Town Hall. It offers a window into the past courtesy of two well-respected local men who share a passion for the history and heritage of the area.”

East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture (EDLC) Trust Chair Sandy Marshall added: “This is a terrific exhibition in a wonderful facility. I hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to enjoy the exhibits – which offer insight into the daily life of local communities through fascinating snapshots in time.”

A year-long pilot programme of exhibitions is being held at the Made in Kirkintilloch space in the town hall – developed through a collaboration between the Trails and Tales project, EDLC, and community groups and makers with support from Heritage Lottery Fund.

Bits and Pieces is open to the public – as is the wider Made in Kirkintilloch facility – from 10am until 4pm, Mondays to Thursdays. Call 0141 777 3143 for more details.